The 2022 FIFA World Cup begins on Nov. 20 in what will be the first winter edition in the history of the competition. The best players in the world will take center stage in Qatar as the action runs through the final on Dec. 18. However, there are already some players that won’t participate due to their injuries in the past weeks. Let’s see who will definitely miss the tournament, whose situation is cloudy and who might be back on time.
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- Striker Paulo Dybala: In doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury. Due to the many injuries he has suffered over the years, he has not been a central player for coach Lionel Scaloni. For Argentina, Dybala has only played 34 matches in more than seven years and scored three goals. In the past twelve months, he only started once and played five games, scored only one goal against Italy at the Finalissima 2022 and has generally been more of a backup player. Dybala’s absence at the World Cup would definitely be a loss for Scaloni, but more because it reduces the squad’s depth than anything else, as the coach already showed that he can play without the AS Roma striker in the past months.
- Defender Juan Foyth: Doubtful after suffering a knee injury.
- Striker Angel Di Maria: Questionable be called after suffering a low-grade lesion to the hamstring. However, he should be back on time as things stand.
- Midfielder Exequiel Palacios: In doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury.
- Striker Nico Gonzalez: Questionable to be called after sustaining a hamstring injury.
- Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso: Will definitely miss the tournament since he has to undergo surgery, as confirmed by Villarreal.
- Defender Kye Rowles: Has been ruled out after sustaining a metatarsal fracture.
- Midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a knee injury.
- Striker Romelu Lukaku: In doubt to be called after he suffered a thigh strain few days after he recovered from the previous injury. Lukaku only played five games and scored two goals and his second stint at Inter Milan has been deeply affected by injuries so far, but he should be fit on time for the World Cup.
- Midfielder Arthur Melo: Has been ruled out after undergoing surgery.
- Alphonso Davies: Bayern Munich announced that he has sustained a hamstring strain and will miss the next two games against Werder Bremen and Schalke but Davies’ participation at the World Cup with Canada is reportedly not at risk.
- Defender Andreas Christensen: He’s currently out for a sprained ankle but he should be back on time.
- Striker Joao Rojas: Will miss the tournament due to a cruciate ligament injury.
- Midfielder Gonzalo Plata: In doubt to be called up for hip issues.
- Defender Robert Arbeloda: In doubt to be called up after an ankle fracture on June 25.
- Midfielder Kalvin Phillips: Will definitely miss the tournament. The former Leeds player suffered a shoulder injury during the mid-season friendly game at Barcelona and won’t be available until 2023.
- Midfielder Emile Smith Rowe: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a groin injury. He’s expected to be back in training in December.
- Defender Reece James: Will miss the tournament due to a knee injury and he is expected to be out for eight weeks.
- Defender Kyle Walker: Will miss the tournament due to a groin injury.
- Midfielder Bukayo Saka: In doubt to be called after picking up an ankle injury. When asked if this injury could rule him out from the World Cup, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said: “Hopefully not. It was a bad kick, he was limping but I don’t see it further than that”.
- Defender Ben Chilwell: Will likely miss the tournament after sustaining a hamstring injury. Chelsea stated that “results showed that Ben has suffered a significant injury and the defender is unfortunately expected to miss the World Cup.”
- Midfielder N’Golo Kante: He has undergone an operation on his hamstring injury. The midfielder visited a specialist with Chelsea’s medical department to explore the options for his rehabilitation, and it was agreed for him to have surgery to repair the damage. Following a successful operation, Kante is now expected to be sidelined for four months, Chelsea have announced.
- Midfielder Paul Pogba: After racing to get back to fitness, Paul Pogba’s agent announced at the end of October that the midfielder will not be able to heal his knee from surgery fast enough to make the squad.
- Defender Lucas Hernandez: Questionable after suffering a muscle tear in his left adductor.
- Goalkeeper Mike Maignan: Questionable to be called after sustaining a calf injury.
- Defender Boubacar Kamara: Will miss the tournament after sustaining a knee injury.
- Defender Lucas Digne: In doubt to be called after sustaining an ankle injury.
- Defender Raphaël Varane: Questionable to be called after suffering a hamstring injury against Chelsea as he left the pitch in tears. He will try to recover in time.
- Striker Marco Reus: Questionable after suffering a knock.
- Midfielder Florian Wirtz: In doubt to be called after suffering an ACL injury last March.
- Striker Timo Werner: Will definitely miss the World Cup after suffering an ankle ligament injury.
- Striker Allahyar Sayyadmanesh: In doubt to be called due to hamstring.
- Striker Sardar Azmoun: In doubt to be called after sustaining a calf injury.
- Striker Ryo Miyaichi: Has been ruled out due to a cruciate ligament injury.
- Defender Yuta Nakayama: Has been ruled out due to an Achilles injury.
- Midfielder Jesus Corona: Will definitely miss the tournament due to ankle injury.
- Striker Raul Jimenez: In doubt to be called after reporting a chronic fatigue problem.
- Striker Tarik Tissoudali: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a cruciate ligament injury.
- Defender Nayef Aguerd: In doubt to be called after suffering an ankle injury.
- Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a fractured tibia. He’s expected to return to the pitch sometime in the spring of 2023, barring a fast recovery or an improved diagnosis. The Dutch midfielder, who is currently on loan from Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season, suffered the injury in training in August.
- Midfielder Jakub Moder: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a cruciate ligament injury.
- Striker Diogo Jota: Will definitely miss the tournament after suffering an injury. The striker is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines due to the calf muscle injury he sustained against Manchester City, which will also rule him out of Portugal’s World Cup campaign. The forward was carried from the pitch in stoppage time of the 1-0 win at Anfield and will subsequently miss Liverpool’s remaining eight fixtures prior to the international break in November, as well as his country’s participation in the Qatar finals. However, Jota does not require surgery, the club have confirmed.
- Striker Pedro Neto: Will definitely miss the tournament after suffering an ankle injury.
- Defender Ricardo Pereira: Will definitely miss the tournament due to Achilles injury.
- Defender Nuno Mendes: In doubt to be called after sustaining a hamstring injury.
- Defender Pepe: In doubt to be called after sustaining a knee injury.
- Midfielder Abdullah Al-Ahrak: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a cruciate ligament injury.
- Midfielder Bouna Sarr: Will definitely miss the tournament due to a knee injury.
- Striker Keita Balde: Banned due to an anti-doping violation until December 5.
- Striker Dani Olmo: In doubt to be called after suffering an ankle injury.
- Midfielder Mikel Oyarzabal: Doubtful after suffering an ACL injury last March.
- Striker Son Heung-min: In doubt to be called after the player suffered a fracture around his left eye. Tottenham coach Antonio Conte said that he is ‘confident’ he will be fit to play the tournament.
- Defender Miles Robinson: Will definitely miss the tournament due to an Achilles’ injury.
- Midfielder Weston McKennie: has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain. Sources close to McKennie tell CBS Sports that it is considered short term and called it a “minor muscle injury” with no concern of it impacting his World Cup status.
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- Defender Ronald Araujo: Will definitely miss the tournament after undergoing surgery on his right thigh.